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ERIC Number: EJ1079209
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Oct
Pages: 27
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0272-930X
Young Children's Inductive Generalizations about Social Categories: When Is Gender Essential?
Pillow, Bradford H.; Pearson, RaeAnne M.; Allen, Cara
Merrill-Palmer Quarterly: Journal of Developmental Psychology, v61 n4 p441-467 Oct 2015
Two experiments investigated 3- to 5-year-olds' inductive generalizations about social categories. In Experiment 1, participants were shown pictures of children contrasting in appearance and either gender or classmate status, and were asked to generalize either biological properties or behaviors. Contrary to expectations, performance did not differ for chance for gender, but children generalized on the basis of appearance more than classmate status. Experiment 2 further examined children's use of gender for inductive inferences. Children were asked to generalize either stereotyped behaviors (stereotype condition) or novel behaviors (neutral condition) and novel biological properties (both conditions). In the stereotype condition, children generalized both behaviors and biological properties on the basis of gender more than appearance, but, in the neutral condition, children's performance usually did not differ from chance. The implications of these results for essentialism, similarity-based induction, and cognitive variability are discussed.
Wayne State University Press. The Leonard N. Simons Building, 4809 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI 48201-1309. Tel: 800-978-7323; Fax: 313-577-6131; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Illinois
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A